8 May 2014 Metal capped polystyrene nanotubes arrays as super-hydrophobic substrates for SERS applications
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Abstract
We present a low-cost and rapid fabrication and characterisations of polymer nanotubes based substrates inspired by a Gecko’s foot, and demonstrate its suitability for Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) applications. Substrates are fabricated in a simple, scalable and cost efficient way by melt wetting of polystyrene (PS) in an anodised alumina (AAO) template, followed by silver or gold evaporation. Scanning electron microscopy reveals the substrates are composed of a dense array of free-standing polystyrene nanotubes topped by silver nanocaps. The gaps (electromagnetic hot spots) between adjacent nanotubes are measured to be 30nm +/-15nm. SERS characterisation of the substrates, employing a monolayer of 4-aminothiophenol (4-ABT) as a model molecule, exhibits an enhancement factor of ~1.6 × 106. This value is consistent with the one obtained from 3D-Finite Difference Time Domain (3D-FDTD) simulations of a simplified version of the sample. The contact angle of the substrates is measured to be 150°, making them super-hydrophobic. This later property renders the samples compatible to very low sample volumes and highly sensitive detection (down to 408ppt) of the environmental pollutant crystal violet in water is demonstrated.
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Pierre Lovera, Pierre Lovera, Niamh Creedon, Niamh Creedon, Hanan Alatawi, Hanan Alatawi, Alan O'Riordan, Alan O'Riordan, } "Metal capped polystyrene nanotubes arrays as super-hydrophobic substrates for SERS applications", Proc. SPIE 9129, Biophotonics: Photonic Solutions for Better Health Care IV, 912908 (8 May 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2054443; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2054443
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